Law firm

Law Practice

Law practice is defined in some modern systems as (a free profession that shares with the judicial authority the realization of justice, the assertion of the rule of law, and the guarantee of defending the rights and freedom of the citizens). In Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), there is a close definition but only as a proxy in a dispute: (to assign a person to be your substitute in defending and pleading for an act in which a proxy is acceptable, whether you are able or unable to do it).

 

The history of law practice:
  • The first to know law practice are ancient Egyptians, during the reign of the 3rd dynasty in the year 2778 B.C. It was also widely practised during the reign of the 4th dynasty and many courts had been established then. Afterwards came the Code of Hammurabi, which notably took care of this profession. In 1950 A.C., a plate was discovered, in the city of Somer, in which a full trial of 3 persons, who killed a worker of the temple, was recorded in 1850 B.C. When the case was presented to the court, 9 lawyers came to defend and plead for the defendants. Then came the rule of the Greeks and the Romans, during which the law profession had clearly developed. In the age of Empror Justinian, 526- 565 A.C., during the Roman Empire, the law profession flourished and law schools became widely spread; the lawyer would only practise law upon taking on oath while holding the bible.

     

  • Before the advent of Islam, Arabs were bedouins where the tribe leader (sheikh) would rule and judge with what he considers is appropriate. They did not need lawyers. However, it was allowed for everyone to depute a person to plead for him and would say for each other (I give you my tongue to argue for me). After the spread of Islam, Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, appointed judges who judged according to the law of God (Allah). From this setting emanated the profession of law which applies the rules of sharia (Islamic law) upon all people, on the basis of a proxy in a dispute. This proxy in a dispute remained unorganized till the late Ottoman’s rule, when the university of Asstana for Arts, in 1846, was established. It comprised an institute called (Shihani law office). The Ottomans put a condition on the lawyer that he should have a certificate from this institute and master the Ottoman’s language, reading and speaking. Yet, the profession had not been completed structurally as it happened in European countries, such as France which is considered one of the pioneer countries which codified and developed law practice in modern times. It established, for the 1st time, in 1790, a policy concerning law systems. Later on, a law was issued in 1830 to organize the law practice followed by several amendments, in 1920, 1941, 1954, 1956, 1960, and lastly on 31, Dec., 1971 when law no. (1330- 71) was issued.

     

  • The concept of law practice in the Arab states is new compared with western countries. Among the early countries where laws organizing the practice of law exist are: Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco and Libya, followed by the rest of Arab states. Egypt is considered the 1st Arab state in which codification of law existed during the reign of wali (governor) Mohammad Ali Basha. Several developments followed until Law no. 61 of 1968 was issued, amended by law no. 65 of 1970, which aimed to raise the standard of the profession of law via the guarantee of the lawyer’s rights.

     

  • In Syria, law practice began when it was occupied by France. It went on developing until law # 39 of 21.8.1982 was issued, which is still applicable till now.

 

Permissibility of the law profession

In Islamic law, the law profession is permissible for several evidences, among which are the following:

I- In the Noble Quran
  1. In the verse telling the story of prophet Moses ,which reads: (He said: “My Lord, indeed I killed from among them someone, and I fear they will kill me * And my brother Aaron is more fluent than me in tongue, so send him with me as support, verifying me. Indeed, I fear that they will deny me * (Allah) said, “ We will strengthen your arm through your brother and grant you both supremacy so they will not reach you. (It will be) through our signs; you and those who follow you will be the predominant”. ( surah 28: 33-35).
  2. In “Al-Manar tafseer Book, the author explains: (From this noble verse, it is understood that Moses, peace be upon him, asked for the help of his brother, Aaron, not for fighting or protection, but he sought his help for defending him against the accusation directed to him because his brother is more eloquent in speech than him. This is an evidence on the permissibility of seeking defence when disputes arise. It is within the concept of proxy in a dispute).

 

II- In the prophet’s tradition (sunnah)

(Narrated by Umm Salamah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said: the messenger of Allah said: I am only a human being and opponents may come to me (to settle their dispute); may be someone amongst you can present his case more eloquently than the other, whereby I may give a verdict in his favor. So, If I give the right of a Muslim to another by mistake, then it is only a portion of (Hell) Fire).

This hadith is an evidence of the legality of the law profession, because people vary in their ability to express themselves with eloquence and fluency in settling their disputes with others.

 

III- Consensus: It is proved that Ibn Quodamah (A scholar) says: There is a consensus amongst Muslims that proxy is permissible and valid in general because there is a need for it. Besides, not every one is able to do what he is required to do; therefore, it is necessary, beyond dispute, to have it.

 

IV- There are many incidences about the companions of the prophet, may God be pleased with them, that prove that law practice in Islamic law is original. The writers of the hadith books (Sunan) have reported such incidences by Ali Bin Abi Talib who performed the role of a lawyer in the presence of a number of khalifas (rulers after the prophet). They accepted that from him and did not disapprove his action. Among such incidences are :
  1. Narrated by Imam Baihaqi in his book on the authority of Abdullah bin Jaafar who said (Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, used to hate disputes. If he had a dispute with someone, he would assign proxy to Aqeel bin Abi Talib. When Aqeel got older, he assigned me (for this job).

     

  2. It is narrated that Ali bin Abi Talib gave proxy to Abdullah bin Jaafar, may Allah be pleased with them. He said: Disputes create enmity and Satan is present in such an atmosphere. I hate. to be present there.

     

  3. It is narrated that Hassan bin Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, had a dispute with someone. They both pleaded in front of Othman bin Affan. He gave a verdict against Hassan who became sad. He went to Ibn Abbas complaining. Ibn Abbas told him : The right is for your, but your plea was wrong. Come with me. They both went to Othman and Ibn Abbas pleaded and defended him until it became clear to Othman that Hassan had the right. So, he issued the judgement in his favor.

     

  4. Narrated by Imam Baihaqi in his book on the authority of Abdullah bin Jaafar who said (Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, used to hate disputes. If he had a dispute with someone, he would assign proxy to Aqeel bin Abi Talib. When Aqeel got older, he assigned me (for this job).

     

 

Reason: The need calls for a proxy in disputes. God made people vary in their abilities and potentials. A person might have a right but he could not prove it or explain it because his ability in doing that is limited. So, he seeks the help of others in order to get his right. Or he might have the ability, but he is too busy to claim his right and he could not do it. Therefore, he needs someone who is able to claim it or defend it on his behalf.

 

 

Conditions for being a Lawyer

A lawyer should be mature and just. Justice includes honesty and truthfulness in addition to other conditions the most important of which are:

  1. Knowledge:- To have knowledge of the case he is defending. This can be interpreted as having a university degree or the like which qualifies him to practise law in accordance with the regulations of the country in which he lives.
  2. The issue of the case is one for which proxy is legitimate (place of proxy). This restricts all the lawyer’s action and it is a condition for the profession itself.
  3. To guard the interest of whom he represents and not to disclose his secrets.

 

The Saudi Law practice (legal practice):

It is an approved system issued by the Cabinet according to the royal decree # m/ 38 of 28.7.1422 H. It defines the law profession as pleading for others in the courts, Department of Grievances and the formed committees, in accordance with the regualations, decrees and decisions, to see into the cases within their area of jurisdiction, and to practise legal and regular consultations. The person who is practising this profession is called “Lawyer”. Every person is entitled to plead for himself

Saudi legal system and its implementing regulations:
http://www.moj.gov.sa/ar-sa/Pages/judgment_systems.aspx

Names of licensed attorneys in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
http://www.moj.gov.sa/ar-sa/ministry/Pages/AuthorizedLawyers_2.aspx

 

Includes consulting and legal legitimacy to provide this advice to individuals, companies and institutions, either permanently or temporarily.